6A42.20: Refraction Tank and Laser
Description: This demonstration shows what happens to laser light when it encounters an air-water surface.
- Small plastic tank
- Mounted Laser
- Portable stand
- S clamp
- Compressed air
- Milk powder
- Fill the take up with water.
- Add a little milk powder to the water. Mix it in.
- Attach the laser to the portable stand as shown in the picture.
- Angle the laser to enter the water at roughly a 45º angle.
- Turn on the laser.
- Turn off the lights.
- Spray the compressed air just above the top of the plastic tank. You can also use chalk dust.
- Note the angle of incidence and the angle of refraction. They are not the same.
- This is because light bends as it travels from an air to water medium.
- When finished, turn off the laser.
Do not stare at the laser beam. Do not point the laser at students.
Note: This picture is time elapsed. In person, the beam will not be as bright.